Travel Scams: Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Airbnb, and Booking.com

Travel Scams: Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Airbnb, and Booking.comShutterstock

As we approach the end of September, the weather has become ideal for vacationing travelers – are you planning on any fall trips? Watch out for travel scams though! We’ve detected several circulating travel scams – would you have spotted them all?

Southwest Airlines Phishing Email

We’ve reported on fake Southwest anniversary campaigns before. This time, scammers have created fake raffle campaigns and are spreading them via email.

Spot the Scam_Southwest Airlines_Email Survey Scam_20220919

Falsely claiming that you’ve been chosen to take a survey while promising you an “exclusive reward”, scammers will prompt you to click on the embedded button to participate in the campaign.

If you miss out on all the red flags and take the bait, you will be led to a fake Southwest Airlines online survey page that’s designed to steal your information. In other words, scammers can record whatever you’ve submitted on the phishing page.

Spot the Scam_Southwest Airlines_Fake Survey Page_20220919

With these credentials, scammers can commit other cybercrime such as identity theft. Don’t get scammed!

American Airlines Gift Card Scam

“You have won a $500 Airlines Gift Card!” Using similar tactics, scammers will try to convince you into joining their fake Loyalty Program via the button. Again, it will take you to a fake online survey page that collects your information. Be careful and don’t click on anything!

Spot the Scam_American Airlines_Email Gift Card Scam_20220919

Fake Hotel Booking Websites

Scammers are creating many fake websites impersonating famous hotel booking platforms, such as Booking.com and Airbnb, in order to exploit you. They promote such links via text messages and emails, luring you into opening the malicious links. If you don’t spot the scam, and book a night with these fake websites, you’ll pay and get nothing! Imagine how misery!

These phishing pages are designed to record your personal information as well! When you log in on the site, scammers can gain access to your credentials, and you know what will happen next: identity theft, credit card information leaks, and so on. Here are some examples:

#1 – Airbnb

Travel Scams_Airbnb_Fake website_20220922
Sample fake Airbnb website
Travel Scams_Airbnb_Fake website_20220922_2
Sample fake Airbnb website

A list of fake Airbnb URLs:

  • airbnb-verifycard-3ds[.]com:80/
  • airbnbfrance[.]fr:80/
  • airbnb-payment-3ds[.]com:80/
  • airbnb-verifment-cards[.]com:80/
  • airbnb-official-payment[.]com:80/
  • airbnb-payingverify[.]com:80/

#2 – Booking.com

Travel Scams_Booking.com_Fake website_20220922
Sample fake Booking.com website

A list of fake Booking.com URLs:

  • booking-payments-official[.]com/
  • booking-verifcard-payment[.]com:80/
  • booking[.]laurin[.]it:80/

How to Protect Yourself

  • Choose reliable booking platforms. Do your homework and search for reviews and complaints about the travel website/agency.
  • Take a closer look at a website’s web address — is it legitimate?
  • NEVER click links or attachments from unknown sources. Use Trend Micro Check to combat scams with ease. (It’s 100% FREE!)

Trend Micro Check is a browser extension for detecting scams, phishing attacks, malware, and dangerous links — and it’s FREE!

After you’ve pinned Trend Micro Check, it will block dangerous sites automatically! It’s available on Safari, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.

TMC_CTA_Extension_2022

You can also download the Trend Micro Check mobile app for 24/7 automatic scam and spam detection and filtering. (Available for Android and iOS).

TMC_CTA_Mobile_2022

Stay safe and enjoy your trip — don’t let scammers ruin the vacation! As ever, if you’ve found this article an interesting and/or helpful read, please do SHARE with friends and family to help keep the online community secure and protected.

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